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Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate (Year 3) Short Course

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This Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate short evening course is a fantastic follow-on course for anyone that has studied Chinese Mandarin before and looking to take their knowledge further.

Why choose this course?

The course aims to build on your knowledge acquired the last two years. You already have a solid grasp of “pinyin”, understand rules on Chinese character formation and can write basic characters. This course will focus on consolidating and extending character writing and will help you move to the next level, build on grammar, improve your pronunciation and communicative skills, and extend your vocabulary to deal with more complex topics.

The course consists of weekly lessons for 10 weeks per term. During the full year all 3 modules can be covered.

All of our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

The course will revisit topics taught in the Refreshers course with an emphasis on learning Chinese characters, fluency and pronunciation, learning new grammar and extensive vocabulary. The course will help you build confidence, strengthen your ability to communicate more fluently and offer the opportunity to broaden your cultural understanding.

Is it the right level for me?

This Mandarin Chinese Lower Intermediate Year 3 short course is the perfect next step after completing one of our Chinese Mandarin Refreshers Year 2 course.
You can check your level using our online guidelines.

The Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate course is taught at progressive levels, starting with Module One in October. We only advise joining Module 2 or Module 3 if you are already familiar with the content from earlier modules (see the What will I learn? section below for module content).

  • “ excellent tutor ”


    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Module 1

Topics covered

  • Weather, Seasons;
  • Clothes to wear for appropriate seasons;
  • Home visits
  • Rooms in the house;
  • Chinese New Year customs;
  • Transport, distance and directions.

Grammatical structures

  • Auxiliary word “děi”;
  • Topic-comment sentences
  • ‘le’ as particle and auxiliary word
  • Expressing succession using “jiù”
  • Expressing similarities using A hé B “chàbuduō”/”yíyàng”
  • Expressing comparisons using A “bǐ” /”méi yǒu” B + adjectives
  • Expressing future actions with “yào”/huì”
  • Expressing actions in progress using “zhèngzài”

Learning objectives

  • Understanding information about the weather in different places;
  • Talking about clothes to wear in different weather;
  • Understanding weather forecast and comparing weather in different places;
  • Making exchanges between hosts and guests;
  • Talking about different rooms in the house;
  • Understanding Chinese New Year festival activities, food and customs;
  • Understanding directions to places and information about different modes of transport;
  • Asking for and giving directions and suggestions;
  • Writing about directions to a place.

Module 2

Topics covered

  • Hotel Accommodation;
  • Check-in and room facilities;
  • Describing dimensions;
  • Museums, historical and cultural relics.

Grammatical structures

  • Expressing possession, existence or location with “yǒu”
  • Expressing adequacy with “gòu” “bú gòu”
  • Questions about size “duō dà /cháng/kuān”
  • Expressing passive voice using “bèi”
  • Expressing a continuing action or state with “zhe”
  • “shì…de” constructions

Learning objectives

  • Understanding hotel check-in procedures;
  • Understanding and being able to talk about room furniture and location;
  • Being able describe dimensions of rooms/objects;
  • Making and responding to requests;
  • Being able to write comments about a hotel’s location, facilities and service;
  • Asking and answering question about rules and signs;
  • Understanding simple descriptions about historical periods and objects;
  • Writing about a historical period.

Module 3

Topics covered

  • Eating out;
  • Food and drink;
  • Chinese cuisine;
  • Shopping for souvenirs;
  • Sending package by post;
  • Sightseeing.

Grammatical structures

  • Noun phrases with “de”
  • Giving instructions using imperatives
  • “bǎ” sentences
  • Duplication of verbs
  • The more…the more….  “yuè”…”yuè”…
  • Notional passive
  • Expressing result of an action with dào
  • Expressing percentages using “bǎi fēn zhī”
  • Sentence pattern “chúle”…yǐwài”, “hái”…

Learning objectives

  • Being able to ask and answer questions about different dishes;
  • Being able to order at a restaurant;
  • Asking for and giving recommendations;
  • Writing a recipe;
  • Being able to bargain and ask for suggestions;
  • Writing about a shopping experience;
  • Talking about a place of natural beauty through comparison;
  • Writing about the scenery of a place.



Prerequisite knowledge

The Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate (Year 3) short course is designed for learners having approx 120 hours prior learning, for instance our Chinese Mandarin Beginners (Year 1) course and our Chinese Mandarin Beginners Refresher (Year 2) course.

You can check your level using our online guidelines.

English requirements

You will need to respond to instructions and read course documents in English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis in this course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

Classroom activities will include:

  • role-playing;
  • class room discussion;
  • pair and group work;
  • work on pronunciation and intonation;
  • grammar in context.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are an important element in our lessons. More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts are generally set as homework.

Your progress will be assessed on an on-going basis through homework and performance in class. You will receive verbal feedback from your lecturer when appropriate and written feedback with your homework. All evaluation will take place in a relaxed and informal setting.

There is no formal assessment and no qualification is issued at the end of the course, but you will be awarded an official City, University of London certificate on completion of the course. You must attend over 70 per cent of the classes to be eligible for the certificate.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

- Discover China Student Book Two. By Anqi Ding, Shaoyan Qi, Jie Zhang (Macmillan Education, 2011)

- Discover China: Workbook Two. By Dan Wang (Macmillan Education, 2011)

Please note:

Students are advised to purchase their own copies of the books.

Tutor information

  • Jingya Huang

    Jingya Huang qualified as a Mandarin Chinese Teacher after postgraduate studies in the UK. She has taught in UK schools and worked for the Open University.

    Jingya has worked as a translator and interpreter, and taught Mandarin Chinese at all levels and business Chinese to professionals.

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